- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 4, 2015

DELMONT, S.D. (AP) - The fire department in Delmont is fully equipped for the first time since a May 10 tornado devastated the community, though the town is still struggling to recover.

Two fire trucks and a rescue van were destroyed and another fire truck was damaged when the fire hall was hit by the twister. The storm damaged or destroyed 84 structures in and around Delmont and injuring nine people.

The fire department now has access to all of the equipment it needs to fight fires, thanks to donations and loans of equipment and money, The Daily Republic newspaper reported (http://bit.ly/1N8ylSX ).

“We’ve got all of the trucks that we had before now, so it makes you feel confident that you can go out and do the job that you need to do if need be,” Fire Chief Elmer Goehring said.

The Delmont Rural Fire Protection District responds to fires in parts of Charles Mix, Douglas and Hutchinson counties. Its fire hall was insured, and department members are preparing to move in to a refurbished facility.

Much of the rest of the town has yet to rebuild.

About 200 people lived there before the tornado, and about 75 residents have left the town for good after their homes were destroyed, according to volunteer firefighter Russ Dozark.

Dozark lost his home and is staying with Mayor Mae Gunnare while his home is rebuilt.

“It’s still a good place to live, and we want to keep a small town alive,” he said.

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Information from: The Daily Republic, http://www.mitchellrepublic.com

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